I wrote an article a few years ago when my daughter was really on her Taylor Swift kick. I knew very little about the country/pop starlet, but what I did know is that she was unfairly blasted on a pretty consistent basis. And no, I do not refer to Kanye West when I say this.
Nor any other celebrity that feels that need to dismiss others because they lack confidence in themselves. Instead, I refer to the endless barrage of judgments I heard from everyday people that found it necessary to talk up Taylor’s relationship woes. I was especially angry at people who had daughters and nieces or kids of friends that went through that which Taylor did.
Were we so blind, spacey or filled with jealousy (yes, jealousy) that we could not see that what Taylor went through was just what our own family and friends did?
Well, today I take my daughter to her third Taylor Swift show and I do so with glee. I love pretty much her entire 1989 CD as well as Red and Speak Now. What I love more, however, is what Taylor does every day despite the past and present haters and jealous MOFO’s. And to that I bring back the ode. This is about Taylor and this is about your daughter. And niece. And friend’s daughter.
Maybe she’s 23.
Maybe she’s been in the public’s eye for 7 years.
Maybe she’s had massive success.
Maybe we’d say when you’re a celebrity you also accept being publicly digested and judged. Maybe, just maybe, that’s not fair.
Maybe she could write songs of love and heart ache in her sleep.
Maybe writing these songs helps her cope with loss.
Maybe she’s 23.
Maybe she’s had 10 boyfriends in 5 years.
Maybe she falls fast and gets excited about new flames.
Maybe she gets emotionally invested too fast, it doesn’t work out and the public knows about it within 3.6 seconds. Maybe, just maybe, that’s not fair.
Maybe our daughters and nieces and friends are in the same boat but due to their lack of spotlight and success, don’t get dealt the same deck of scrutiny.
Maybe she’s had such success that other artists, say, an arrogant rapper we’ll call Kanye, skewers her on stage and it affects her confidence.
Maybe she’s as sincere as she comes across and this is seen as arrogant or naive.
Maybe, just maybe, she’s 23.
Maybe she wanted to date someone, we’ll just call them John, who was 10 years older than her because she couldn’t relate to people her own age due to aforementioned fame and the fact she had to grow up very fast.
Maybe she fell for someone else from a popular boy band and her ups and downs with him were derided because he was beloved by other young ladies who were whatever version of jealous one could be at the ripe age of 14.
Maybe we would know nothing of these two footnotes of a love biography if she wasn’t famous. Maybe, just maybe, that’s not fair.
Maybe, such scrutiny bestowed on the average girl, say, your daughter, niece or friend, would not be welcomed and, in fact, would come with it sharp knives from you protecting their honor and their ability to make mistakes because maybe, just maybe, we’re human.
Maybe, the criticism bestowed on one young, beautiful, critically acclaimed, multi-talented musician is tailored in that we would not bestow the same criticism on ordinary people in the same circumstances.
Maybe, other beautiful, multi-talented musicians have had far greater exploits on the relationship side of their world but to far less scrutiny because they were not seen as Americas princess and thus such exploits were expected.
Maybe, just maybe, none of this is fair and instead, is a swift injustice of criticism bestowed upon someone that, despite her intentions, can’t catch a break from a media and public that craves faults and fractures in everyone but themselves.
And maybe she did over react to the jokes of some awards show hostesses who are equal opportunity offenders but such reaction is really from a combination of judgments and punches taken on the chin for her love stories and it just got to her.
Maybe, just maybe, she’s human. At least we can verify she’s 23.